NEW YORK (AP) - So much for the "dog days" of summer. With a rally in the stock market, the Standard & Poor's 500 index is near the four-year high it reached earlier this year.
Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, led the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average, surging 10 percent. Cisco beat profit expectations late Wednesday and raised its quarterly dividend to 14 cents per share from 8 cents.
A report on rising building permits, a gauge of future home construction, appeared to bolster market sentiment.
The report helped push the S&P and Dow near their highest closing levels since 2007.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 9.98 points to close at 1,415.51, less than four points shy of its April 2 high. The Dow rose 85.33 points to 13,250.11, an increase of 0.6 percent and 29 points away from its May 1 peak of 13,279.
The S&P has rallied more than 5 percent in the last three weeks.
First Coast News